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November 4, 2016

John Isner

Paris, France

J. ISNER/J. Sock

7-6, 4-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. That was a strange match. You looked to have it well and truly won in the second set let alone 4-Love in the third.
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, it was pretty strange. Not a match that I am generally, you know, kind of used to playing out there. You know, when I'm up a set and a break, a lot of times that's really all I need out there, but it wasn't the case today.

I was fortunate to start off very well in the third set, put that second set behind me. I needed both of those breaks that I had obviously, because, you know, he got one back.

But very tough match. Certainly could have gone either way. I thought I played very well. I'm happy to move on.

Q. I wasn't in Vienna, but Andy said he thought you were a bit hurt there. I presume all that's behind you now, is it?
JOHN ISNER: Who said that?

Q. Andy.

Q. Yeah. In Vienna, were you a bit hurt?
JOHN ISNER: Oh, yeah, I had a blister against him, yeah, on my hand. Yeah, so in that particular match, I had a blister that was messing with my grip, which was bad news going up against Andy on a slow court. So I had no shot against him that night.

But fortunately the blister has healed. It was a simple -- just one of those things. Never really had a hand blister before. I was, I guess, hurt a little bit for that match, but I'm fine.

Q. You're looking very relaxed at the moment. Is it just the last week of the year, or have you actually discovered a new freedom with your tennis?
JOHN ISNER: I think a little bit of both. It is the last week of the year, and really, up to this point I have been very disappointed with how I have played this year.

But I think I have turned a corner. I have a very good team on my side. I am relaxed, but I also know, you know, going into this event I have played well here before quite a lot of times. I made the quarterfinals last year and made the semifinals here before.

So I really enjoy this tournament. I enjoy this city. I don't know. It's a good combination for me.

Q. You and Jack are good friends. Do you feel like you bring out the best in each other?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, we are very good friends. I think that was our eighth meeting overall, and I hope to see Jack plenty more times, you know, going forward.

But, for me, as the elder statesman, I guess, of American tennis right now, it's very good for me to have guys like Jack, you know, for me to be able to, you know, keep trying to chase down Jack, because he's an incredible talent and so young. Hopefully he can keep me young, as well.

Q. As an elder statesman, have you made up your mind which way you'll be voting next week? Anything you want to share with us?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, I have. I'll keep it to myself.

Q. About the next match, you obviously don't know who you're playing yet. Can I ask you a question about each? I mean, assume it's Djokovic. Still world No. 1?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah. Well, if it's Novak, I mean, he's down a set right now. I have played him a bunch. I have run into him a lot in matches, you know, these 1000 events.

I guess one thing I have on my side, I have beaten him twice before. But either way, I'm going to have my hands full. I have never beaten Cilic. It's 6-0 or 7-0, or something crazy. He's had my number. And, of course, Novak is the No. 1 player in the world.

I'm going to have to play like I did today if I want to have any chance no matter who I play tomorrow.

Q. I was having lunch and watching the match on TV. There was something about a foot fault called. You were talking to the umpire? They played it. It sort of looked like you didn't foot fault but...
JOHN ISNER: I guess I did. I got a bit flustered out there. I just haven't seen that type of foot fault called. You know, it was over the center line. My toe wasn't on the -- you know, you see foot faults called all the time but not like the one I had. It was a judgment call, super close.

I didn't think the call was great, but I sort of let it negatively get to me out there. The second set was gone like that (snapping fingers)..)That's the first time I have ever had that called on me in my career. It was a bit of a shock.

If I did foot fault, yeah, within the rules, I guess I did sort of make a mistake there. I have never seen it called, and I have never had it called on me.

Q. Who called it?
JOHN ISNER: The back, like, umpire, the one directly behind me.

Q. The middle?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, in the middle. It wasn't on the side.

Q. A question about the American election. It's so far from your home, and what will you do to vote? Will you come back to the United States?
JOHN ISNER: Well, as of right now -- I have always voted absentee, so I have an absentee ballot at my house, and I need to figure out when's the latest I can send that in. Because if not, then I've just got to go to the polling station on November 8.

Four years ago I was able to vote just absentee. Came to my house, I put it back in the mail. But I guess I just got back a lot earlier from this tourney here. So I'm running out of time. I've got to get there and vote, eventually.

Q. What is so special about Paris that brings out the best in your tennis?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, I don't know. This tournament, in particular, I think it's very good conditions for me. I like that center court. I don't think it's too fast. I think the ball gets up quite a bit, which for me is very good.

On top of that, I always enjoy my time in Paris. I think if you put those two things together, it's a pretty good combination for me.

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